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The University of Kansas is regarded as one of the premier research institutions in the country, and researchers in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science are at the forefront of advancing knowledge in health care.

Students not only have the opportunity to learn from accomplished clinicians, but also benefit from scientists striving to expand knowledge in a variety of health and science areas.

Work by faculty members in the department are focused around two themes: 1) rehabilitation and health promotion in people with pain or neurologic conditions; and 2) innovations in physical therapy education.

brain imagesClinical Orthopedic Rehabilitation and Research Laboratory

The CORR lab is studying the biomechanical and biochemical factors contributing to low back pain and to advance clinical research in rehabilitation for patients with low back pain. The lab team is focused on research related to improving lumbar spine surgery outcomes, opioid utilization, phenotyping central sensitization in chronic low back pain, understanding central pain processing, and conservative rehabilitation approaches.

photo of Irina Smirnova looking at research panelDiabetes Research Laboratory

This research lab aims to uncover the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that benefit cardiac muscle in people with diabetes. Using magnetic resonance imaging, KU researchers have been able to demonstrate that physical exercise improves the heart's ability to contract and relax in people with diabetes.

researcher works with patient on leg resistance excerciseHealth Exercise and Aging Laboratory

The major goal of ongoing research in this lab is to improve the health and wellness of people with chronic disease or disability.

Image of driving simulation equipmentLaboratory for Advanced Rehabilitation Research in Simulation

The mission of this lab is to improve rehabilitation outcomes in neurological conditions through simulation, including virtual reality treadmills, driving simulation, and eye tracking.

LEARN PT lab graphicLeveraging Education And Research iN Physical Therapy Lab

Scientists aim to promote excellence and collaboration to optimize physical therapy education.

researcher works with specialized equipmentNeuromuscular Research Laboratory

Through the study of posture and gait disorders in post-stroke individuals, as well as those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, researchers are developing novel approaches and technologies in neuro-rehabilitation.

research subject breathes into special machineResearch in Exercise and Cardiovascular Health (REACH) Laboratory

The REACH lab is focused on research that integrates three areas of study: cardiovascular physiology, brain aging, and stroke recovery.

image of brain and human headSleep, Health, and Wellness (SleepWell) Laboratory

By examining factors that influence motor skill learning such as aging, injury, and sleep, researchers seek to better understand how individuals with brain damage recover motor function and the underlying mechanisms that promote recovery.

research subject breathes into special machineVestibular and Balance Rehabilitation Lab

Research in the STABILITI laboratory is focused on studying the effects of mild traumatic brain injury on balance in humans, as well as how the inner ear is affected by aging.

Last modified: Feb 15, 2021